Chair appointed for new health and safety association

Business consultant and former senior
public servant Shenagh Gleisner has been appointed Establishment Chair of the new Health and Safety Association of New Zealand (HASANZ), taking up the position today.

As Establishment Chair she is responsible for leading HASANZ through its first year to ensure it becomes an effective umbrella organisation representing workplace health and safety professions in New Zealand. HASANZ was formed on 10 September 2014 and aims to raise professional standards to provide healthier and safer workplaces in New Zealand.

Shenagh Gleisner is well qualified for the job, bringing a wealth of experience to HASANZ. This includes six years as Chief Executive of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Deputy Chief Executive of the Department of Labour, Director of the Earthquake Recovery Programme at the Department of Building and Housing, and many senior positions in the health sector. She currently chairs the Risk and Assurance Committee for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.  Ms Gleisner serves on a number of boards, including The Skills Organisation, and was a director of KPMG.

“This role relates to all of the work I did relating to the Pike River disaster while I was at the Department of Labour and after the Canterbury earthquakes,” said Ms Gleisner. “I’m acutely aware of the need for healthier and safer workplaces in New Zealand. It’s one of the most important issues we face today. “In all my governance roles, safety and health – including mental health – have become such a priority. I feel really honoured to be able to make a greater contribution to making improvements so that everyone can come home healthy and safe.”

Under Shenagh Gleisner’s leadership HASANZ will start the development of a national, online register of competent workplace health and safety professionals to help businesses access quality advice and services. Another priority is to promote collaboration between government, business and health professionals to lift health and safety standards in New Zealand workplaces.